How to Make Pesto Genovese

A great basil pesto recipe! Learn how to make to this Italian classic in a few simple steps and with just a handful of ingredients.

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Happy Monday guys! Today I’m sharing a really simple recipe that I think you’re all going to love! It’ll take you literally minutes to make and tastes out of this world good! This homemade pesto is the best pesto I have made to date and it couldn’t be any easier or simpler to make!

The “secret” ingredient that makes my pesto taste so good is the roasted garlic. Roasted garlic is such an underrated ingredient, it transforms this pesto and adds a light and sweet flavour. Before I perfected my own pesto recipe, I’d always made pesto with raw garlic. It’s ok, but I find it leaves a bitter taste in your mouth afterwards, whereas the roasted garlic is sweeter and gives a more rounded flavour without leaving a bitter aftertaste. I found these instructions for roasting garlic on thekitchn.com here. It filled my kitchen with most gorgeous garlic aroma and I would highly recommend you give it a try!

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With just a handful of ingredients this basil pesto is not only satisfying on the taste buds but because it’s so easy and quick to prepare it is definitely worth going the extra mile to make it yourself! You can make the pesto ahead of time so it’s waiting for you to use in the refrigerator ready for a tasty dinner!

Ingredients:

2 handfuls/cups fresh basil leaves, packed – you can sub the basil for spinach leaves, if preferred

3 cloves roasted garlic

45g (1/3 cup) pine nuts, toasted

55g (2 ounces) Parmesan, freshly grated

5-6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Salt and cracked black pepper, to taste

Good squeeze fresh lemon juice (optional)

Method:

1. In a food processor pulse together the basil, garlic, pine nuts and Parmesan until they are minced.

2. With the processor on slow speed add the oil (about a tablespoon at a time) in a slow stream. Now season to taste with salt and black pepper. Process for another minute until all the ingredients are combined. Finish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

3. Place the pesto in a jar or bowl and drizzle over a little extra oil to cover the top – this keeps it fresh. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. You can also fill an ice cube tray with the pesto and freeze blocks.

Recipe Notes: 

  • If you can cannot find pine nuts you can easily substitute with walnuts, almonds, cashews or pistachios. For a nut-free version you can substitute with sunflower seeds.
  • Adjust the consistency of your pesto by adding a tablespoon less or more oil.
  • When toasting the pine nuts always toast on a medium heat in a dry pan. Watch them as they burn very easily.
  • Along with the lemon juice you can also add about a teaspoon of the zest.

Enjoy!

jess

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54 thoughts on “How to Make Pesto Genovese

  1. I made pesto last week with some basil I have been growing over the past few months, but I didn’t use roasted garlic…. I may have to give this a try! You can never have too much pesto or garlic in my opinion 🙂

  2. Mmmm what a stunning pesto, Jess! I love pesto, and its always sooo fun to make at home! This sounds delicious, thank you for sharing 🙂

  3. Ummm, what a droolicious pesto, Jess! I so adore love homemade pesto, and this one looks and sounds absolutely delish! Thanks for this lovely recipe! 🙂

  4. Yes! I love the roasted garlic twist here. We’ve been eating a ton of pesto lately (it freezes so well), but now I want to make another batch with roasted garlic. Thanks for sharing…and thanks for making me crave pesto at 9:00am! 🙂

  5. Such a great idea to add roasted garlic! I never thought to add to pesto but it will definitely counteract that bitter taste. Trying this soon!

  6. Nothing beats good homemade pesto! It’s so easy to make and I add it to so many different things. I use almost the same recipe, but I replace the parmesan with nutritional yeast to make it vegetarian friendly 🙂 x

  7. Yes yes yes yes yes. Pesto is one of those favorites that makes everything taste better. PESTO ON EVERYTHING!

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